Access mapping highlights risks from land reform in upland Myanmar
Journal article, 2020

Secure land access is vital for Myanmar's upland households, who rely on crops and forests to meet their subsistence needs. But recent land reforms threaten to undermine customary tenure and land-use practices in Myanmar. This paper combines income accounting methods with access theory to assess how new legislation may affect four Chin communities in the country's north-west. Our assessment of 94 households' land-access mechanisms and economic benefits from different types of land reveals existing land-access inequalities among Chin households and demonstrates communities' continued dependence on environmental resources, especially those from swidden fields, home gardens and forests. A majority of households would lose all of their land-derived income, if they were denied access to communities' customarily governed land, e.g., under the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Management Law. Policy stakeholders should therefore intervene, to alleviate land-access inequalities among Chin households and to direct Myanmar's land-system dynamics onto more just development trajectories.

Myanmar

land-use practices

swidden farming

customary tenure

Livelihoods

environmental income

Author

Laura Kmoch

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory, Physical Resource Theory 2

Matilda Palm

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Martin Persson

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory, Physical Resource Theory 2

Martin Rudbeck Jepsen

University of Copenhagen

Journal of Land Use Science

1747-423X (ISSN)

Vol. In Press

Land-use dynamics and rural change in upland Myanmar

Chalmers, 2015-08-01 -- .

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

DOI

10.1080/1747423X.2020.1836053

More information

Latest update

1/7/2021 1